There was a big crowd on hand to see the East football stars knock off the West team 22-14 on Wednesday evening. The attendance was listed at 7,077 in today’s N&R but it looked larger than that to me. There sure were a ton of cars out on Westover Terrace after the game and the fans were lined up on both sides of the street trying to get out of the place.
Both teams looked rusty to me and penelties were the norm and neither team had very good timing after a short week of practice. Delay of game calls kept the officials busy and with illegal substitutions and players getting on the field late all night for punts and special teams this game again reminded me of a practice game or maybe a scrimmage.
The coaches did not do good job of preparing their players and many of the fans I talked to said they couldn’t believe these were supposed to be the best high school players from the state of North Carolina.
Quan Warley of Thomasville HS did put on a solid show when he got his hands on the ball but the former Bulldog RB only got two touches in the first half. The West coach John Devine of Belmont South Point must have left his playbook back at the hotel.
If the West would have gone to Warley in the first half they would have won this game by two touchdowns. The final of 22-14 was still better than the game back in 1985 when Page alum Todd Ellis led the West to a 7-6 win over the East. Ellis came into the game as the #1 QB in the land from the previous HS season and he proceeded to go 8-24(106 yds.) with two interceptions. Ellis did throw a 20 yard TD pass to Ron Fair for the only West touchdown(with only 2:54 remaining in the game) and then David Taylor of Page came on to kick the crucial extra point to give the West the 7-6 victory.
I was at that game back in 1985 covering it for the Sports Page newspaper and the game was played on a Friday night. Back in the day the East-West football game was always on Thursday but in 1985 Hurricane Bob came through town and the contest had to be moved to Friday July 26 marking only the second time in the then 37-year history of the games that there had to be a postponement of any type. In the old days they usually played the hoops on Tuesday and the football on Thursday.
Wednesday night showcased the 59th edition of the All-Stars and it was good to see the large crowd gathered to support the troops. The troops are the players and the first official day of HS practice is only 10 days away. I hope the fans will come out in similar numbers this fall and support the local high schools.
I did have a nice talk with Greensboro Grasshoppers fan Robert Stutts and his young son Bobby. Bobby is on his way to the second grade this fall and he is about five feet tall and weighs around 100 pounds. That’s big for a kid that age and maybe he is a future all-star. Bobby, who has seen me at many Grasshoppers games asked me if I was Miss Babe Ruth’s dad and you can imagine how that got me to thinking. Me, Miss Babe Ruth’s father? Medical science has made many strides in recent years, but me Miss Babe Ruth’s dad? Maybe Bobby thought I was Miss Babe Ruth’s owner.(Miss Babe Ruth is a Black Labrador Retriever)
Me, Michael Vick, and the Dog Daze of Summer.